In 2007, Belgium implemented a new law on safe road transport of products. KAHO (Belgian engineering school), Febetra (Belgian federation of carriers and logistic service providers), OTM (Belgian federation of shippers) and the Belgian federal police started a research project in order to apply the law as efficiently as possible. The research focused on the aspect of transport packing and the most appropriate vehicles. The results were quickly adopted by main companies such as ExxonMobil, Dow, Procter and Gamble, Wienenberger, Quick Step, Borealis, etc.
The new legislation on safe transport includes a large responsibility for product packing companies. The products must be wrapped in a transport packing material that is sufficiently firm. Various methods to test the solidness of transport packing materials, were developed. These tests simulate the impact on products during a transport in a real vehicle. The acceleration test appeared to be one of the most relevant. The test details were refined and all parties concerned (packing companies, carriers and police) agreed to start performing acceleration tests to assess the shape stability of loading units. The research project ended in September 2009. Jelle Dendauw and Kristof Baeyens established ESTL NV as a spin-off of KAHO in order to offer the acceleration test to the shipping industry.
The main ESTL activity consists of assessment and optimization of shape stability of loading units. If you pass an acceleration test is successfully, you receive an official certificate of transport packing efficiency. In case of failure, ESTL is able to optimize the transport packing. Therefore, every test is recorded with a high speed camera. Image analysis enables identification of the failure cause. Consequently, we can suggest to you efficient improvements to the transport packing, which can be tested immediately. In most cases primary and secondary product packing must not be modified in order to comply with the new transport legislation. Besides, optimization often results in transport packing price reduction.
A second ESTL activity is intended for vehicle manufacturers and builders: design, assessment, optimization and certification of vehicle parts such as construction, ground mooring points, loading ramps, posts, antiskid materials, etc. In Belgium almost all vehicle builders have the official certificates issued by ESTL. Also materials for load securing such as fastening rails, hoods, vehicle tarpaulins, etc. can be tested and certified.
Because of the changing legislation on the European multiphase type approval of vehicles, the sector commonly requested extension of the cooperation in this field. Several systems, components and units had to be tested to see their compliance with the European harmonized legislation. For the performance of the certification tests, ESTL acquired an authorization according to the ISO 17025 principles. This authorization confirms our excellent standards whereby we give extra attention to calibration and validation of measuring tools, appropriate testing methods and competences. Tests are done by ESTL itself, using own equipment and expertise.
Through the large experience with testing of vehicles, securing material and loading units, ESTL is able to handle safe packing, shipping and securing issues from a global perspective, which results in the most economic solution. If necessary, our engineers draft and test a specific custom-made solution. This can be confirmed by customers such as Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, Wella, BP, Total, ExxonMobil, Schweppes, Alpro Soya, FrieslandCampina, Wienerberger, Cargill, Nestlé, Knauf, Gyproc, etc.